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Let us share a meal and give thanks

As people gather with friends and family to share a meal and give thanks at the end of the autumn harvest season, let us be grateful for each other, for the food the Earth has provided us, and for those who stewarded these lands for thousands of years.

Happy learning and happy living!


The PLACE Team

Chris Velasco

Elizabeth Bowling

Alice Hiniker

Todd Bagby

A Time of Harvest and Gratitude

Autumnal festivities have been held by communities around the world for many generations as people gather for a big meal to celebrate the harvest before the hardships of winter. In the United States, many people gather for Thanksgiving around a large meal shared with family and friends, often accompanied by expressions of gratitude for the good in their lives. The Friday after brings us Native American Heritage Day during the November Native American Heritage Month to honor the first stewards of these lands and to celebrate their culture and contributions.

This year marks 400 years since the first jointly-held Thanksgiving in 1621 between the Wampanoag people who have lived here for over 12,000 years and the English colonists who arrived in the Mayflower at Plymouth in 1620. We recognize that the national holiday based upon the 1621 Thanksgiving has also served as a day of mourning among first peoples. An ongoing process of truth and reconciliation is needed.

Giving thanks is at the core of this season and of many Native American cultures. The Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address is often spoken before gatherings or meetings and speaks of a shared appreciation for the many incredible things in this world that sustain us. What a wonderful way to establish a mindset of gratitude and unity before participants dive into a celebration or vital discussion. We recognize the beauty of this address without appropriating it.

At PLACE, we are supremely grateful for those who support our charitable endeavors of creating safe, healthy, inspiring, life-giving places for people across a spectrum of income levels and backgrounds. We give thanks for the perseverance of our core team, the wisdom of our Board of Directors, the passion of our volunteers and donors, the dedication of our project team, the insightfulness of our neighbors and future residents, as well as the kindred spirit municipalities and fellow nonprofits who also strive to further strengthen their communities.

Thank you to all who have traveled alongside us during this adventure of creating the PLACE St. Louis Park Community, and thank you to those joining us now as we get ever closer to making it a reality.

Giving Thanks at Via Sol in 2022

We look forward to this time next year when Via Sol will be home to Thanksgiving meals hosted by our residents for their friends and family. Perhaps some of those meals will include the fresh greens and herbs from our future on-site, year-round, indoor farm operated by Spark-Y with minimal water use and without pesticides or herbicides.

Gathering for a meal with loved ones is a wonderful opportunity to give thanks for the good around us. It is a moment to let those whom we love know how grateful we are to have them in our lives, especially during the ongoing strains of the pandemic. It is a moment, whenever it is accessible to us, to acknowledge the many life-sustaining resources this world gives us by seeking food that is local, organic, humane, and sustainable.

“We bring our minds together as one and give thanks to the people on the Earth, that they are still tending to their responsibilities so that peace can be possible on earth. So let it be in our minds.” - segment from The Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address

Learn More

Native American Heritage Month

Voices of Indian Country, Native Hope

Native Voices and Visions, University of MN

Native American Heritage Month, Library of Congress

Native American Heritage Resource Library for Students, National Geographic

The First Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving for Native Americans, Native Hope

National Day of Mourning, United American Indians of New England

Listening to Wampanoag Voices: Beyond 1620, Peabody Museum

The Wampanoag People 400 Years Later, Time

A Thanksgiving History Lesson, Time

Thanksgiving Story Myths, Smithsonian

The First Thanksgiving, Nat Geo Kids

Via Sol

PLACE’s Via Sol community, a sustainable, transit-oriented community in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, producing its own food and energy, filled with art and imagination, offers healthy apartments and live/work space to households across the income spectrum.

Via Sol is currently under construction and expected to open in spring of 2022. Applications are now being accepted. For more information:

Email us at

Call us at 612.444.2VIA (612.444.2842)

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